Many San Diego roads are in such need of repair — one intersection I cross daily doesn’t have potholes as much as it has craters — that a city council member “waited for traffic to clear then darted into the roadway where he used a foot-long wooden ruler to measure some of the larger holes.” Exciting stuff.

Scott Lewis made use of his pen to measure a different kind of pothole: the kind that are on the road to an expanded Convention Center. Political, economic and legal challenges face the ambitious project to expand the Convention Center to a size that attracts larger shows.

But Lewis notes one particularly intriguing challenge that now faces the Convention Center expansion: the San Diego Chargers. Mark Fabiani, the Chargers’ man behind the search for a new stadium, was quoted saying that a combined stadium and Convention Center is “an idea that’s starting to make a lot of sense to people.”

“Not happening and doesn’t work,” tweeted Steven Johnson, the VP of the Convention Center Corp, in reply to Fabiani’s comments. Apparently, a combination stadium and convention center isn’t making a lot of sense to the right people.

One reader wrote to ask, “Would it be out of line to ask government officials to address current obligations before creating more debt?”

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Peter and Paul, Paupers

“Community-based school reform” started out as a unified, productive reform plan between the teachers union and the school district and, for a while, it was good.

Now it appears that the honeymoon is over (again) and both sides have retreated to making and enacting their own plans. Emily Alpert notes that the biweekly talks between the union’s leadership and Superintendent Bill Kowba have been cut off.

Threatening to lay off more than 1,300 teachers froze the already tepid relationship, which the school district recognizes. “Things have been strained somewhat due to the difficult decisions that had to be made,” said Deputy Superintendent Nellie Meyer.

There have only been more difficult decisions to make since then. Alpert also writes that the school board voted on Tuesday to go ahead with its plan to take money from some schools and give it to the poorest and most disadvantaged schools.

Board member Shelia Jackson argued that money had been spread too thin to be effective in the past. Two board members disagreed. “Are we going to rob Peter to pay Paul, when both Peter and Paul are children in poverty?” asked board member Kevin Beiser.

It may not matter, since it will be difficult for Peter nor Paul to get to school if their bus driver has been furloughed.

Ballparking It

The city has given “no pay raises for our employees for the last three years,” claimed Mayor Jerry Sanders at an April 14 press conference. Is that a fact, Mayor? Keegan Kyle turns his fact-checking gaze on this claim to see if Sanders is just, shall we say, whistlin’ dixie.

Not Quite Blight

While San Diego struggles with redeveloping downtown — libraries, stadiums, convention centers, oh my! — National City has been quietly fighting a court case challenging that city’s findings of “blight” in a neighborhood that would allow National City to seize a popular boxing gym.

The case amounts to a warning shot to redevelopment efforts in downtown San Diego (assuming they escape the Governor’s looming ax). The U-T supports the ruling and writes how the case’s judge admonished National City for conducting itself dubiously in the blight finding and in the legal process.


Have you come across a parked van with a sign on top that says “CIA” and “DEMON” on opposing boards? CityBeat’s Dave Maass paints an intricate portrait of the van’s driver, Tuan Nguyen.

In a profile that ranges from musical notation to SDSU and kidney replacement, we discover that Nguyen is an educated bass player who has lived a troubled life in uncertain health. He lives in his van as part of his struggle against the CIA who, he asserts, have attempted to control his mind. “Their words — I have mental illness,” he says, “that lead to no job, lead to no money, lead to family trouble and divorce.”

No License to Kill

More details are being revealed about the explosion in the waters off of San Diego’s coast last month that killed four dolphins. A pod of dolphins swam through the danger zone where the Navy was conducting exercises with explosive ordinance with only five minutes to go before detonation. The Navy has denied any wrongdoing and claims that the decision not to attempt to stop the explosion was correct.

But the National Resources Defense Council wonders why the Navy is performing explosives training in those waters without authorization, writes the Daily Transcript. Michael Jasney, a senior policy analyst with the NRDC, says that the Navy is only authorized for “incidental harassment” of marine life, which does not include activities that may cause serious injury. “The lack of a fail-safe mechanism demolishes the assumption on which the Navy’s entire safety plan is based,” says Jasney.

Sweetwater Confidential

The UT Watchdog points out that a well-paid Sweetwater Union High School District public relations consultant, Scott Alevy, is billing the district $250 per hour for meetings with people who don’t remember ever meeting with him. Alevy has declined to fully cooperate with the Watchdog’s investigation because, he says, the meetings are all confidential in nature.

Guerrilla Madonna and Nazis

“One hundred hours to build and cost $1,000 in materials,” was one arts supplier’s guess as to what resources went into erecting an unauthorized mural in Encinitas. The mural depicts Our Lady of Guadalupe on a surfboard next to the words “SAVE THE OCEAN,” all done in stained glass and tile. Witnesses report that a rogue group dressed as “bogus construction workers” are responsible for the piece, which is affixed to the base of a train bridge.

Reviews of the art have been overwhelmingly positive, but one city leader said that rules are rules, and the mural has to go. “Chances are,” said Encinitas Councilman Jerome Stocks, “if we don’t take this down — if someone puts a loving, glowing mosaic of Hitler or Osama Bin Laden across the street — then how could we take that one down?”

Ice Aging

A study performed by the Scripps Research Institute of 18,630 patients seen at a clinic in San Diego has found that our body temperatures decline as we age, reports the New York Times.The study also suggests that normal body temperature may be closer to 98.2 degrees, and not the 98.6 degrees that has been the established norm since the 1860s.

While it’s possible that everyone’s temperature drops as they age, it is also possible that lower body temperatures “confer some survival advantage.”

If it’s the only the good and the hot that die young, I’m not sure what that says about the rest of us.

Please contact Seth Hall directly at and follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall is co-founder of the community group San Diego Privacy, which is a member of the TRUST SD Coalition.

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